Garbage litter San Joaquin’s waters

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Saturday, July 1, 2017

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ILOILO City – The waters of Barangay Cata-an in San Joaquin, Iloilo yielded kilos of debris.

The garbage were collected by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 6’s pioneering “Scubasureros” – divers tasked to do underwater cleanup.

DENR launched the cleanup as part of the celebration of the Environment Month with the theme “Connecting People to Nature.”

“Scubasurero” is coined from the word “scuba” diving and “surero” which is the last three syllables of the Tagalog word “basurero” or gabage collector.

It is an apt word to describe the underwater cleanup drive done by licensed divers of DENR Region 6, Philippine Coast Guard, Zoological Society of London (ZSL), and Far East Scubatech Institute (FESI).

Twenty-three licensed scuba divers joined the “Scubasurero” on June 27. They did the “buddy system” and were paired by twos with one master diver on the lookout for anyone who might be needing help.

The group did the underwater cleanup drive in Barangay Cata-an in San Joaquin, Iloilo, specifically at Tobog Beach Resort.

Approximately seven kilos of underwater debris were collected and these included rubber tires, sacks, ropes, fish nets, galvanized iron sheets, Styrofoam cups, junk food wrappers, plastic bottles, tin cans, clothing, bamboo sticks, PVC pipes, glass bottles, nylon strings, steel pipes, lighters, and even dead corals.

“It saddens us to note that such debris have littered our oceans. Indeed, there is a need for our local government units with coastal and marine areas to also give due attention to their solid wastes collection under or within their water bodies,” said DENR regional director Jim Sampulna.

DENR cannot do it alone, he stressed.

“We bank on everyone’s cooperation, especially that of our political leaders who can truly make things happen,” said Sampulna.

During a recent visit, DENR secretary Roy Cimatu ordered the regional office to lead the implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act in Western Visayas.

“Our oceans are a vast source of food and raw materials for many other things. Let us help clean them up. Let them bathe in fresh and clean water,” said Sampulna. (DENR-6/PN)





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